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4 Police Mistakes That Can Derail a DUI Prosecution

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Knoxville DUI defense attorneysThere are many different ways that police officers can become their own worst enemies when it comes to investigating a DUI and helping prosecutors in securing a conviction. There is an enormous set of rules that officers need to follow, ranging from constitutional rights they cannot violate to procedural details they must follow to avoid contaminating a chemical test. Sometimes the police make their fatal error before even pulling a suspect over.

A trained attorney can review police records, body camera footage, and chemical testing data to spot any potential errors that could invalidate part of the evidence. Your attorney will likely also ask you a series of questions about your interactions with the police to look for signs of an error. 

Mistakes That Could Save You From a DUI Conviction

Quite a few DUI convictions have been avoided because the police did something wrong on their end. Fatal mistakes your lawyer might find include: 

  • No grounds for a stop - Police officers cannot even pull you over unless they have reasonable suspicion that you are committing a crime. This does not mean that the police only need to be suspicious of you due to a “gut feeling” or because they do not like the way you look. They must be able to point to objective facts that suggest you were doing something illegal. 
  • Breath test interference - Breathalyzers are sensitive pieces of equipment. Anything from not waiting long enough after stopping you to measure, to bringing a radio into the room, to not calibrating the device often enough could lead to an inadmissible test. 
  • Unfair field sobriety tests - Field sobriety tests are often used by police to establish probable cause for an arrest, so if it turns out that these tests were invalid, there is a chance it could defeat the arrest entirely. Problems like making you try to walk a straight line on a hill and in heels, refusing to listen when you showed proof of a medical issue affecting your balance, or making up their own impossible tests could all invalidate field sobriety testing. 
  • Botching a blood test - If the officers decided to use a blood test, then it is very important that they followed the entire procedure correctly. Police officers are not nurses, and they can easily contaminate a test tube or needle or make another error. 

Your lawyer will need to review quite a bit of information, and it may take some time. But it will be very worth the wait if it turns out that your arrest or testing was not valid and cannot be used against you. 

Contact an Anderson County DUI Lawyer

The Law Office of William F. Evans will conduct a highly fact-specific analysis of the circumstances surrounding your stop, arrest, and testing to spot any mistakes the police may have made. Our skilled Oak Ridge DUI attorneys will fight to prevent any illegally or unconstitutionally obtained evidence from being used against you. Call 423-449-7980 to get things started with a free consultation. 

 

Source:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCOURTS-tned-1_09-cr-00091/pdf/USCOURTS-tned-1_09-cr-00091-1.pdf

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